How to Cope with 3 Types of Narcissism (with Dr. Ahmed Fouad, Starts 05:30)

Uploaded 5/6/2024, approx. 35 minute read

So first of all, I would like to welcome Professor Sam Vaknin. The best person to Yani present himself is Sam Vaknin himself.

But firstly, I think that most of my fans know Sam Vaknin very well. I've talked before a lot on my videos, which is something like exceeding 1000 videos about Sam Vaknin.

Oh my God. But of course, but what Sam Vaknin himself doesn't know, because this is the first time to be one-to-one with him, that in my thesis, in my PhD about narcissism, I depended on the knowledge of Sam Vaknin a lot and with honor, your name appeared on my thesis several times.

I, firstly, for your fans, they don't know me, my name is Ahmed. I am a counseling psychologist, member of APAA, American Psychological Association, member of Egyptian Association for Psychotherapists and Arab Federation of Psychotherapists. Sam Vaknin is non enough and he will present himself.

Sam Vaknin, in my own eyes, in my own opinion, I regard Sam Vaknin as a founder of modern narcissism science researchers since the early 90s. Everybody knows that since the early 90s terminologies of narcissism are with your name. I can say that you invented those terminology that everybody unfortunately uses and most of them, they don't know that you are the one who invented those names. It is the way, it is the way of science and intellectual enterprise. We don't need, we at some point the biggest compliment is if they use your work and they don't know that it is your work.

So it's quite a good thing. Yes, so I take the chance to announce for everyone, from my followers and everyone around the world that we owe a lot to Sam Vaknin for terminologies for science and for everything.

So now, please present yourself to my fans. Thank you.

But we will now revert to English for the benefit of their viewers.

Arabic was actually my second language. English is my fourth language. Arabic was my second language because my father is from Morocco. So at home we were talking Arabic, French and Hebrew.

Amazing, amazing. It's a beautiful language.

Sam, can I have a quick question?

Is that the first time you go on a podcast with Egyptian or with Arab?

You know, you did that before? It's not the first time, yes, I did it before. It's not the first time. No. Very good.

So Arab world knows Sam Vaknin very well. Well, I don't know if they know very well, but it's not the first time.

But it's the first time with such an honorable person like you. Thank you. Thank you so much.

My name is Sam Vaknin. I'll make it very short because we should discuss narcissism, not Sam Vaknin.

My name is Sam Vaknin. I'm a professor of psychology and professor of business management in SIATs, which is Cambridge United Kingdom Commonwealth Institute of Advance and Professional Studies. It's a postgraduate institute in Cambridge.

Before that, for about five years, I was visiting professor of psychology, clinical psychology in Southern Federal University in Rostov-Ondon in Russia until the war started. And I was let go because I was a foreigner.

And aside from that, I started my work on narcissism, as you said, in the actually late 1980s. I'm that old. And because there was very little literature and very little awareness of the condition, you're right, I had to invent a whole new language, which is currently in very wide use all over the world.

Part of this language I coined originally, and part of it, I simply adopted phrases and words from existing literature, mainly psychoanalytic literature. But I repurposed the words. I imbued them with modern meaning. So the way these words are used today, that's my work, but the words themselves are not mine.

And then I wrote many books on the topic and so on and so forth.

I had the first website for 10 years. It was the only website. I had six support groups for victims of narcissistic abuse.

Narcissistic abuse is a phrase that I popularized. I was the first to describe narcissistic abuse in my book, which was published in the late 90s.

And so on and so forth. So I've been in this field for well over three decades, among the first, if not the first, probably the first, for three decades.

Then in 10 years later, around 2004, other people started to enter the field, that's the second generation.

And now, as you well know, this is a hot button topic in psychology. And definitely the most widely discussed mental illness or mental disorder or mental problem, way, way more than borderline personality disorder, for example, which is pretty amazing.

Yes. Yes. Pretty amazing. Yes.

This, this will, this will make me start my first question with you. I would like to tell you that I'm done with my book about narcissism. It's written in Arabic. The title of, yes, thank you so much. The title of the book is "Narcissism is the disorder of the century." Underneath "Narcissism from A to Z."

And that will actually take me to the point, Sam, what do you think of this point? What do you think and why narcissism started to spread and to increase in modern times that way, in a notable way, we can notice that narcissism increased in a clear way. What's your explanation for that?

I'm going to present a nursology, in other words, a classification of narcissism, which is not very common, but I think is very helpful with your commission.

There is the first layer of clinical narcissism, and that is the post-traumatic, the post-traumatic condition.

Narcissists, people diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder, usually have been traumatized and abused as children. They've been exposed to what we call adverse childhood experiences or ACEs. And as a reaction to the trauma, they develop defenses.

And one of the defenses was the false self. It's a kind of imaginary friend who is godlike and is protective of the child. And that imaginary friend has all the properties the child does not possess and wish it had possessed.

So this imaginary friend is all powerful, all knowing, brilliant, perfect. In short, it's a deity. It's a godlike entity.

And then the child merges with his false self and becomes a narcissist later in life.

So there is this post-traumatic reaction.

Now, when I say abuse and trauma, I don't only mean sexual abuse or physical abuse. I mean, for example, a parent who is absent, emotionally absent, indifferent. A parent who is overprotective of the child doesn't allow the child to get in touch with peers or with reality. A parent who instrumentalizes the child uses the child as a tool to gratify the parent's wishes and fantasies and dreams and needs. A parent who parentifies the child uses the child as a parent figure.

So the parent becomes the child and the child becomes the parent. That's a form of abuse.

Any refusal by the parent to accept the emerging boundaries of the child, to allow the child to separate and to become an individual, there is abuse.

And the reaction to this could be codependency, could be even borderline personality disorder if there is sexual abuse.

But in, luckily, a minority of the cases, the reaction is pathological narcissism.

So that's the first layer. That's the clinical psychological layer.

But on top of that, on top of that, like a pyramid, we have other layers.

So the second layer is what I call the reactive layer. The reactive layer is people want to be noticed. People want attention. People want to be seen. People want to stand out.

And today, in big cities, in our modern civilization, it's very difficult to compete with hundreds of millions of other people, or with billions of other people online for attention.

So in order to be noticed, in order to be seen, you need to escalate your behavior. You need to stand out by being unique, by being special.

In other words, you need to act as an narcissist.

And the question is, why do we need to be seen?

The need to be seen is a survival strategy. A baby that is not seen is a dead baby. The baby needs to attract the attention of the mother and later on the father in order to survive.

So you are connecting the mode of survival mode with narcissism. So it's fight, flight, freeze, survival mode.

That's what I'm trying to say that narcissism is not nearly a clinical condition. It is actually intimately linked to our primordial initial infantile survival strategies that we develop.

As a baby tries to attract mother's attention, we as adults are trying to attract other people's attention because to not have any attention whatsoever is to feel dead, to experience death by proxy.

And then there is a third layer, and that is a societal layer.

Our modern civilization is highly narcissistic. It rewards narcissistic motivations and narcissistic behaviors. If you're ambitious, if you're ruthless, if you are defiant, if you are driven, then you become Elon Musk, you become Donald Trump.

Yes. Society rewards these behaviors, which are essentially narcissistic behaviors.

So society is structured in a way that narcissists rise to the top. And in order to accomplish things in life, you need to be more and more and more narcissistic.

And the irony is that this is conformity. As we become more conforming, we want to belong. We want to be accepted. We want to be part of a group. We want to interact with other people, even if only digitally. We want an affiliation, an identity, and this is what we call identity politics.

So today, identity is intimately linked and inextricably linked to narcissistic behaviors and to narcissistic motivations and to narcissistic psychodynamics.

So if you look at the big picture, you have a clinical condition, then you have a survival strategy, and then you have a society that rewards you, that encourages you to be a narcissist. It is a miracle that we don't have many more narcissists than we do. It's everything around you, everything inside you, encourages you to become a narcissist. It's feeding the idea.

Yes, we call it reinforcement. Yes. There is positive reinforcement for being a narcissist, and there are quite a few negative reinforcements if you refuse to be a narcissist.

So I can say, I can understand from your words, Sam, that simply survival mode or this kind of mode is simply a defensive mechanism.

As we can explain narcissism with the simplest determination or the simplest words as narcissism itself is a defensive mechanism.

All the behavior, all the techniques, all the tactics, the dynamics of narcissism is based on defense like gaslighting, silent treatment, ghosting, ignoring. All these sorts of behavior are based on so simple idea which is I am defending my ego. I'm defending myself towards danger from the point of view of narcissism.

There is a danger when you criticize me, when you comment on my behavior, when you don't give me unconditional love, all this is a sort of threat and they have to defend myself.

So I go on a survival mode and I start to brag the dynamics.

That's great.

Another question which Sam Vaknin explained before, and they really like that explanation, which is the special relation between borderliner, borderline and narcissist. Both narcissists have something to give to the borderline and the borderline is something to give to the narcissist. Can you explain please this special relation?

This has to do a lot with another concept which was first described in 1989. It's not my work, Sander's work.

And that is the concept of the shared fantasy.

The narcissist and the borderline, both of them possess a false center, but the borderline is the narcissist mirror image. Before we come to that, it's important to understand that the etiology of these two personality disorders, the etiology is identical. They are both survivors of childhood abuse and trauma.


So the first thing is they resonate. They resonate with each other. They recognize each other immediately. There is an unspoken subliminal unconscious, call it what you wish, a vibe that passes between them and says we are one and the same. We are the same family, you know.

And so this is the first bond that is spread.

The second element is that they both have a false self and the false selves of these two are complementary. The borderline is perfectly constructed and suited to uphold and support and buttress the narcissist's false self. For example, the borderline sustains the narcissist's grandiosity. She regards the narcissist as a godlike figure that she can admire and worship and cherish. And the narcissist regards the borderline as someone in need of saving or rescuing someone he can act as a god to. She can be his worshipper. She can be in his cult. It's a cult like situation.

And the third element is a shared fantasy.

Both of them required a fantasy in order to survive. The borderline fantasy is an external regulator, someone on the outside that can help her to regulate her emotions and her moods, to stabilize them, to afford her a sense of safety and predictability and certainty. So she is looking for a rock, a rock around which to construct her fantasy. Someone who is a special friend or a special person, someone who is a father figure, someone who is... So the narcissist, because the narcissist projects self-confidence, they project omnipotence, all being all powerful, they project omniscience, they project a godlike figure.

So the borderline finds it very easy to bond with the narcissist and to cast the narcissist in this role of an external regulator.

On the other hand, what the narcissist requires is a mother figure. He requires a mother figure in his shared fantasy.

We should not forget that narcissists emotionally, psychologically, are anywhere between two and six years old. Closer to two years old, actually.

And so they're looking for a mother all the time.

And the borderline is in the perfect capacity to provide a maternal figure because she is a close replica or clone of the narcissist's original mother.

So here they can create a shared fantasy.

In this shared fantasy, the narcissist is the protector, the savior, the rescuer, the provider, the regulator of emotions, stabilizer of emotions, the stabilizer of moods, the all-knowing figure, the father figure, I mean, a god. It's a religion. It's a private religion within this culture.

Yes. And on the other hand, the borderline is the caring, engulfing mother who provides the equivalent of a symbiosis. It used to be called the symbiotic phase. They create a symbiosis and they merge and fuse and become a single organism with two heads.

And yes, I can add to this deep analysis, deep psychoanalysis to the relation between a borderline and the narcissist, another common ground between the narcissist and the borderline.

The narcissist behavior is so difficult to be taken or to be accepted by most of the normal personalities. Meanwhile, the borderline is having a deep fear of abandonment. So as if someone is abusing and when the borderline get bored of that and decide to leave something inside, something deep inside and the borderline say, shout, no, please go back, go back to this maternal figure, go back to this person that will share me the fantasy. And then of course that's something so nice for the narcissist that someone is taking and accepting all these behaviors and giving somehow unconditional love.

So it's a bond. It's a tie.

Another point with your permission, you touched on two very important issues.

The borderline is what we call the twin anxieties. Yes. She has separation insecurity, which is colloquially known as abandonment anxiety.

And she has engulfment anxiety. She's not only afraid to be abandoned and rejected, but she's equally afraid of being consumed and digested and to vanish. So she is going through cycles that are known as approach avoidance, repetition, compulsion. She approaches, then she avoids, she runs away, she comes back, she runs away again, and so on and so forth.

The narcissist is perfectly suited to react to these repetition cycles or compulsive because the narcissist also has his own approach avoidance cycle. He has idealization, devaluation cycles.

So the narcissist pushes the borderline away exactly when she needs to run away. This is a perfect match in this sense that their cycles are totally synchronized.

That's an important point.

And yes, the narcissist tests all the time, tests his partner. The narcissist is a child. So the narcissist is saying, I'm going to see, I'm going to verify that my partner is a real mother, that she loves me unconditionally, that never mind what I do to her, never mind how I misbehave, she's still going to love me. So he abuses her, he pushes her away, he attacks her, he undermines her everything. But it's a test. It's just a test.

And as he passes this test, then she's a really good mother, good enough mother, because that means her love is unconditional. It does not depend on the narcissist behavior or misbehavior.

All these dynamics are taking place in the shared front.

Just a question came to my mind when you are talking about borderline and narcissist now. Just a question came right now.

Of course, you know, the four styles of attachment that was developed during childhood, which is anxious, disorganized, avoidant and secure.

How you classify, how you explain the attachment of a narcissist and attachment of a borderline?

They both have an insecure attachment style. This classification was first proposed by Bowney and later developed by others. Right. So they both have an insecure attachment style, but with different emphases.

So the narcissist would have a more anxious attachment style. Avoidant. That is more avoidant.

Yes, exactly. That is more avoidant, a bit more aggressive and so on.

And the borderline is tending to anxious. Yes, the borderline would be a lot more anxious.

So the borderline's attachment is very similar, very reminiscent of the codependence attachment. And the difference between the borderline and the codependent is the codependent is conscious, conscious of her attachment styles and uses it to manipulate the partner. The codependent emotionally blackmails the partner and she does it knowingly. And so she says to the partner, I cannot survive without you. I cannot live without you. I cannot function without you. You owe me. I sacrifice a lot for you. And so on.

This is the codependence style. Whereas the borderline does exactly the same thing, but she's totally unconscious of this. She is. It comes from, you know, but generally speaking, yeah, these are two insecure attachment styles that are perfectly suited because the borderline needs the avoidance style because she needs to run away from time to time. Of course, she needs her freedom from time to time. Yes.

And the narcissist needs someone with an anxious style because he likes his partner to be dependent on him. He likes the partner to be dependent on him. Right. Conditions the partner to be dependent on him because that's the only way that mommy mother will not abandon him. So there is a perfect match here between narcissism. Yes. They cope together. They cope together. They complement each other. One of the things that I want to explain to our followers and projects this terminology is one of your special terminology that you've explained perfectly. So so so all our friends all over the world, some want to tell you something about and projects and the mind of the narcissist.

So I wish it were my work. It's not my work.

Interjection is a basic term, a very important term in the work of what is known as the object relations schools.

The object relations schools were a group of thinkers, a group of scholars and psychologists over a period of something like 25 or 30 years in the United States and in the United Kingdom.

And they came up with a four stage process based on Freud's work and other but they came out with a four stage process.

Internalization, identification, interjection and incorporation.

Yes. Now I will not go into all the details here but I will focus on on two important elements.

What they were suggesting is that sometimes because we are afraid to lose somebody, we're afraid to be abandoned or because we have decided actually to lose somebody, we have decided to separate and move on.

As children, what we do, we create a representation of that important person in our mind. So if you're a child, a two year old child and you're afraid to lose mommy, you're afraid she will abandon you because she keeps leaving the room. She keeps frustrating you. She keeps disappearing on you. There's no object permanence or object constancy.

So what you do, you create a copy of mommy, a photograph, a snapshot, an avatar, call it as you wish and you internalize it. It's in your mind and now mommy is in your mind all the time.

There's no risk of abandonment. That's one solution.

The other solution is when you want to separate from mother, when you want to become an individual, that is induced separation and individuation.

Exactly. The mother separation and individuation. That is an induced loss. You're choosing to lose mother, but it's still terrifying, isn't it? You're two years old and there's a whole white world out there. So you create an image of mother and you internalize it.

So internalization fulfills different functions.

Now, similarly, you are going to internalize whole relationships. What you're going to do is you're going to divide your mind in two or in three, whatever, and then the parts of your mind are going to interact with each other, simulating a relationship you have with someone.

So these are the two types of internalization and identification.

Interjecting is the voice, the messages that these internalized representations have.

When you internalize mother, you don't only internalize her image, you internalize everything she's ever told you. She may have told you, you're wonderful, you're lovable, you're going to succeed in life. She may have told you, you're ugly, you're stupid, you're good for nothing, you're inadequate, you're a total failure. Whatever the case may be, the image of mother in your mind known as the interject carries with it mother's messages, mother's voice, mother's constant signaling inside your mind. This is known as the interject.

In the context of narcissism, what the narcissist does, he creates an interject inside your mind. He creates a representation of himself or herself in your mind. And this representation in your mind is advertised.

So simply we can simplify and project as absorbed voice of the mother. Absorbed voice of anyone, not only mother.

You can interject anyone. So if you're in a relationship with a narcissist, you will interject the narcissist. There will be a small narcissist inside your head and these narcissists will keep talking, will keep having a voice long after the real narcissist has left your life.

Exactly as you would remember your mother and father long after they are deceased, after they're dead.

That's one of the good reasons why narcissists overcome their victim's mind. Yes, they insinuate themselves into the victim's mind, abusing the process of internalization and interjection.

And that is a big problem because it's easy, it's not easy to get rid of this interject. And the reason it's not easy is that the interject of the narcissist collaborates with other interjects in your mind.

It creates coalitions with other interjects in your mind that have the same negative message.

So if the narcissist is abusive towards you, if the narcissist criticizes you all the time and so on, the narcissist's critical voice will remain in your mind and it will make a collaboration, a coalition with other voices in your mind that have the same negative message.

So this voice is amplified by other interjects and the whole process is known as entraining.

Entraining is a recent discovery. Yes. It's a recent discovery in neuroscience.

We discovered, I'm saying we because I'm a professor of neuroscience. So we discovered that people who play music together, their brain waves become totally synchronized. We cannot tell the difference whose brain is it. They become one harmony. High brain, totally harmonized.

And so the narcissist does this to you, the narcissist verbally abuses you, using the same words again and again and again. It's like hypnosis or like a mantra, some kind of mantra in meditation.

And the narcissist actually entrains you, synchronizes his mind with your mind, allowing him entry to your mind, access, and then he implants the introject.

This is the process, which is very terrifying. You know, in one word, brainwashing.

Brainwashing. Yes, yes. It's a talk of brainwashing.

Since we have Sam Vaknin with us, can you please explain to us your way or the recommended ways to treat a narcissist from his disorder? Because usually you find some people are using techniques like DBT or CBT, and they depend completely on DBT and CBT on treating a narcissist.

Is there anything you can add to us, you can learn from you about treating a narcissist?

First of all, it's no treatment modality that I'm aware of has any efficacy with narcissism. And that includes schema therapy, that includes EMDR, that includes millions work, that includes Kernberg Transference Therapy. That, trust me, in the last 30 years I've studied all of them.

Gestalt. Gestalt. Gestalt. The transactional analysis. I mean, you name it. Yes. None of them, none of them succeed with narcissism because narcissism is an absence. It's not a presence. There's nobody there. There are two core mistakes in the attitudes of psychology or psychotherapy to narcissism.

Mistake number one, they relate to the narcissist as if it were an adult. It's not an adult, it's a child. We need to use child therapies.

Second mistake, narcissism is a post-traumatic condition. We need to treat it with trauma therapies, not with cognitive behavior therapies.

Right. So that's the source of the problem.

Now, we can modify, we have been successful at modifying behaviors of narcissists, especially abrasive antisocial behavior. But this modifications are short term and they're totally reversible. We cannot maintain them in the long term.

So a few years ago, I designed a treatment modality specifically for narcissists called therapy. It's a modality that builds on the work of Foer and Nozak and a few other psychologists in the eighties. And it uses retraumatization, putting the narcissist through trauma again, through the primary, of course, not in the physical sense, yes, in the verbal. Yes.

Putting the narcissist through the trauma again and demonstrating to the narcissist that he can survive or she can survive the trauma without narcissism. That narcissism is not needed to survive the trauma. This technique you developed is close to a technique called treatment by shock.

So this is a kind of exposure therapy. Like when we treat someone from, for example, a kind of phobia or something, sometimes we use treatment by shock. Exposure therapy. Yes.

It's a kind of exposure therapy. It involves many other things. 25 techniques that I developed that are proprietary and so on. I've been certifying and training therapies because they should be administered only by a licensed therapist, of course. Even I cannot administer it because I'm not a licensed therapist. But of course, I can train therapists. Unfortunately, the pandemic interfered and we have to restart the whole process. We succeeded to train 150 therapists before the pandemic, but now they need retraining because a lot of time has passed.

But I think this technique stands a chance, at least, to break through the defenses and prove to the narcissist that the false self is not needed, that he can survive without the false self. Maybe, maybe it will work. I'm not quite sure, but we'll see. But we have one minute left. We can hang up now and you can click on the same link and we can continue.

Yes, please. Yes, please. So I go back, I go back and I click on the link. I will hang up now. Wait, at least wait five minutes because it is saving the file. Right. And then just click on the same link and we will continue your conversation. So after five minutes. Okay. All right, sir. One more time.

I would like to make an observation before we proceed, if you allow me. Of course.

But on the online environment, which is always a polarizing, extremist environment on every issue, not on the on-analysis. We tend to demonize narcissists. We tend to say that there are a level and evil creatures who are hell-bent on destroying people's lives and so on and so forth. And of course, the outcomes of narcissistic abuse are indeed very destructive to other people. People are damaged and broken and armed in big ways. I'm even an advocate of criminalizing narcissistic abuse. But we should not confuse and conflate narcissists with psychopaths. Psychopaths are goal-oriented. They are premeditated. They're coming. They're skimming. They have a criminal mindset. Narcissists have the same impact like psychopaths. They are as horrible and destructive, but they are driven by inner uncontrollable impulses. They are delusional. They are immured. They are immersed in fantasy. And they believe the fantasy. When they make a promise, they believe they're going to keep it. When they gaslight you, they're not actually gaslighting because they're not even lying. They believe their own nonsense. So they are delusional children who would rather live in fantasy than in reality. And whose emotions, negative emotions, negative effects are not under control. There is a problem with impulse control. In many situations, the narcissist becomes as emotionally dysregulated as the borderline. For example, when the narcissist is shamed or humiliated in public, when the narcissist is challenged and his grandiosity is undermined, that is known as narcissistic injury. Narcissistic rage is a perfect example of emotional dysregulation coupled with impulse, lack of impulse control.

So narcissists are much less organized than psychopaths. Psychopathic personality is actually highly organized. And these people are highly efficacious, high functioning. While the narcissist's personality is chaotic, disorganized, infantile, regressive, impulsive, dysregulated, total mess, there is no controlling. And that's why we classify, I'm sorry for interrupting, and that's why we classify narcissism and psychopathy as cluster B. And that's why we use the word delusional and not illusional as we use the word illusion for cluster A more.

Yes, exactly. I personally think that it is a mistake to include psychopathy or antisocial personality disorder together with borderline or together with narcissist. Because borderline and narcissism are manifestations and expressions of internal dynamics. While the psychopath is a manifestation and expression of external dynamics, psychopaths externalize, they externalize aggression, they externalize while the narcissist in borderline, they live inside their minds. They're totally cut off from reality. They have impaired reality tests.

So I think it's a mistake to confuse the two. I'm also at my doubts whether psychopathy or antisocial personality disorder, a mental illness, the very word antisocial.

That's a social problem. Not so there's a question. I just smiled because a couple of months ago, I have recorded a video and I've said the same. I've said I have big doubts that psychopathy in particular is regarded to be mental illness, mental disorder more than personality disorder.

I think it's a social problem, but we should not pathologize and we should not medicalize socially unacceptable behaviors. It's like the Communist Party medicalized and pathologized dissent. So dissidents in the USSR dissidents were put in mental hospitals because they were diagnosed by psychiatrists.

It's insane to oppose the Communist Party. So if I fully understand you, you can say that psychopathy is organized and goal oriented behavior. But we can say that narcissism is more defensive mechanism. It's not really oriented towards abuse or it's just to defend

the threat. Yes, exactly. And it's also very chaotic. It's very disorganized in the sense that narcissism is more random. It's less more oriented. It's not linear. There's no clear vision. It's just a survival mode, constant survival mode. Whereas a psychopath is of the money or sex or access or power. Psychopaths are

very good. Very good. Since we have Sam with us, so we have to take the advantage with your advices for everyone since those defensive mechanisms practiced by narcissists towards the maybe we call it the victim. I don't know if it's correct or not, but anyway, to the person who will be abused, how to protect yourself, how to protect your children in case you have a family life with a narcissist. What is the best way to protect yourself?

Basically, there are two ways if you're forced to be with a narcissist.

If for some reason you cannot go no contact, and in 1995 I suggested 27 strategies and I gave them the name no contact. So if you cannot go no contact, you're married and you cannot divorce or you are financially dependent or you have many children with a narcissist, for whatever reason, there's no way you can escape the narcissism.

So you're working in the same workplace and you don't want to give up on your career. There are many situations where we cannot avoid or evade the narcissism.

Then there are two strategies essentially. They're both not pleasant, but the first strategy is to leverage the narcissist's grandiosity against the narcissist.

It's like in martial arts when you use the momentum of the adversary against the adversary. So if you flatter the narcissist, if you tell the narcissist how great he is, what a genius he how amazing he is, how unprecedented, how these are.

You can make the narcissist do anything you want. Narcissists are junkies. They're drug addicts. They're addicted to narcissistic supply, attention, admiration, adulation, being feared, any form of attention.

So if you give the narcissist attention and you modulate it and you know how to give it so that the narcissist doesn't suspect that you're faking, you have to act, then you can make the narcissist do anything you want.

You can go to the narcissist. You mean to give the narcissist supply as 1S or to give the 4S's supply, sex, service, sedism.

What do you mean? 1S or the 4S's?

So yes, if you strike a deal with the narcissist that you provide him with the 4S's and not all the 4, 2 out of 4 are enough. Sex, services, supply, narcissistic, also distinct, sedistic supply also and safety, being present, not abandoning the narcissist.

If you're willing to play this game, the narcissist is yours. Nasties are incapable of telling reality apart from fantasy. They tend to believe that they are great and they are geniuses and they are amazing. It's an easy job basically.

What's better, Sam? What's better? What's better for the victim to have somehow peaceful life of the narcissist? To give 2 or 3S's or to enter the 4 narcissist codes? Of course, you know them very well. Yes, I think that I want to propose two strategies because I don't want to become too complex. I want people to remember one of two things.

One thing is to agree with the narcissist's grandiosity, to support it and then narcissist is yours. You can manipulate, you can ask anything, especially if you make the narcissist believe that the idea is his idea. Something you want, you should make the narcissist believe that he wanted it or he's helping you, he's saving you, he's rescuing you, you're in need, you cannot survive without him and so on and so forth.

The second strategy is fear. Fear.

To establish firm boundaries with sanctions and punishments. And whenever the narcissist crosses these boundaries and violates them and bridges them, to punish him, the punishments need to be severe.

Narcissists are cowards, they're children. You mean don't revive, don't trigger the fearful child inside the narcissist?

Yes, so unfortunately it's a strategy that works well. We know that it works well, for example, because when narcissists go to prison, all their narcissistic behaviors disappear.

Of course, if you're a narcissist in prison, you don't survive for long. So suddenly all the behaviors vanish. They're completely different people. They are caring and compassionate and attentive and the narcissism vanishes.

This teaches us that narcissism to a large extent is, as you said, a defensive survival related posture.

And when survival requires the suspension of narcissism, then it disappears. It's a choice. It's an effect, a choice.

So if you were to create for the narcissist an intimidating environment, a fear-based environment, an environment that involves punitive measures and so on, if he misbehave, if he bridges boundaries and rules and so on, that should work. That should definitely work.

Think of the narcissist as a two-year-old. What would you do with your two-year-old? Do it with a narcissist. Simple.

That's good. And about children, how to protect the children in case that the victim cannot leave and we still have children between us and the narcissist.

Is that right to tell the children about their father, for example, or mother, it depends, behavior, disorder, or to hide it, tell a specific age and then to talk about it or not to talk about it at all and to treat the situation normally?

There are differing opinions. There's a debate. My approach is based on social learning theory, Bandura's social learning theory.

Bandura said that it is a mistake to actively inform and educate children. Instead, you should act. You should be a role model so that children can imitate you and emulate. You should show them an example of how to behave, what decisions to make, what choices to adopt and so on and so forth.

And then they will imitate you and become like you. So if you co-parent, if you're a co-parent with a narcissist, I think my recommendation is simply to behave in a way that would be an alternative to the narcissist so that the child can see two models, two possibilities, the narcissist or you, and then the child can make a choice.

I want to become a narcissist like my father or I want to become a healthy, normal, balanced, happy person like my mother or vice versa. So the child would have a choice of modeling.

Studies have shown quite conclusively that children usually adopt the healthy model. In other words, if you are consistent with the child over the child's life from two years old to 18 years old or 25 years old and you're consistent, you're healthy, you're boundaried, you're grounded, you are compassionate, you're empathic, you're helpful, etc, etc, etc.

And there is the other parent who is selfish, who is rageful, who is unboundary, who is impulsive, who is reckless, who is the child made throughout this period imitate the wrong parent. But ultimately, when the child becomes an adult, the child is much more likely to adopt the healthy model, the right parent.

So it's a risk but a very limited risk. I don't believe in confrontation between the parents. I don't believe in telling the child, listen, something's wrong with your father, with your mother, don't be like that. This is counterproductive effect. Children, for example, in adolescence, they are defiant, they're likely to push back. Parental alienation is a major problem also.

So if you try to attack the other parent, the child may choose the other parent to protect the other parent. So you may end up pushing the child to the other parent.

These are all very problematic and dangerous strategies.

Just be yourself, just be a good person. Let the child be exposed to a bad person and a good person and let the child decide.

Most people choose to be good. Most people are good people. That's the fact.

I will tell you my point of view because I actually when I'm asked about what to do in this sensitive situation, I say exactly what you say but I add a little point. I always advise do what Sam said exactly, be a role model, be a good model, let the child to choose the right model for him or for her.

But I add one point more that when you attack, when you talk, when you criticize the narcissist, say to the child, say to your son or daughter, first of all, before I talk about your dad, I want you, my son, to differentiate between two things, between behavior and the person. He is your dad. As a person, we give him a lot of attention. We give him a lot of respect as a father model.

So I'm not talking about your father, I'm talking about your father's behavior.

So when I'm criticizing, I'm not criticizing your father or narcissistic mother. I'm criticizing the behavior which is lying. Lying as a behavior is bad for that and that and these reasons.

For example, gaslighting, for example, ignoring, for any sort of behavior.

So we differentiate between two things. But it's difficult for a child to make this distinction. This is very adult distinction. A child would interpret this thing as attack on the father.

Yeah. But I agree with you that you need to teach the child boundaries. For example, you need to teach your child. If daddy asks you to do this, don't do this. This would prevent, for example, sexual abuse. It would prevent criminal behaviors. It would prevent unethical behaviors. So you need to teach the child where to put the line. Where's the line? Which line never to cross? Even if daddy asks you, don't do that because it's not okay. It's wrong.

I think if you lie on the, sorry, the father lies on, if the narcissist lies all the time and you never lie or rarely lie, the child will notice the difference. The child will be disappointed because the narcissist will lie to the child, will make promises and then break those promises.

And so gradually the child will learn to not trust the narcissist and to trust you because of experience and exposure.

The narcissist would promise to come to the child's birthday once, twice, three times and will never come. You will promise to come and you will always come. So the child begins to realize, this person I can trust, this person I cannot trust. I think teaching by modeling, it's not my idea, it's Bandu's idea, teaching by modeling is a really, really great idea.

And of course you're right. We need to teach your child what not to accept, what to reject, which boundaries. Absolutely. Yes. Because otherwise, the narcissist is also a child.

Don't you think that we need Sam Vaknin to visit Middle East soon or to come to Egypt or, yeah, I wish that you come to Egypt to get the best use of your knowledge. You come for a lecture, you come for a seminar, you come for anything. So at least if you don't have a plan for this, promise us that one day you think about it.

And of course, promise me that this is not going to be the last time to learn from you, to learn from your knowledge. Promise me that I will, yeah, you have the honor to be with you on my podcast or to accept my invitation one more time and three times and four times. Of course, a pleasure for me. I really enjoy each word you say.

Thank you so much. You have a deep knowledge of the topic that is clear. The Middle East is a said, Middle East is a said story of a family of brothers and cousins who are killing each other and fighting each other, not only unnecessary. If these families stood together, who is the United States? Who is China? If we all stood together, you know, but unfortunately, we are much, much better at killing each other and fighting each other than at collaborating.

Let's pray all of us with all our religion. Let's pray from heart for peace, to reveal the world, for peace, to be the atmosphere that we all live together and we learn from each other and we cope together for a peaceful life.

Thank you so much. I really, really appreciate your time and with a promise you will be with me on another podcast. We can end the record now and I would like to say something after the record, Yanny. We can cut this later, Yanny.

And of course, Yanny, promise me that you will be with me when your time allows. Of course, I will always respond to your invitation.

Thank you so much. I'm waiting for the link. And I'm waiting for the link. You can send it to me on WhatsApp to download it.

Yanny, thank you so much. I appreciate it and see you soon in Sha Allah in Egypt.

You have a brother, you have a brother in Egypt, you have a house in Egypt. Yeah, it will be a pleasure for me. Masala.

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